September 2016

The Toronto International Film Festival  (8-18 September 2016) holds German cinema in high regard. It's been practice now for many years to invite a large number of German films and co-productions to the program. This year saw 36 titles coming to Toronto. Of particular note was the enthusiasm for TONI ERDMANN, the German candidate in the Oscar® race, as well as for the films by leading German directors Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders, the large German presence in the Wavelengths sidebar, which is dedicated to experimental filmmaking, and the good feedback for German documentaries. 

German Films had a stand in the Industry area - which nine German sales companies used for meetings -, and organized a reception in honor of the German festival titles. In addition, a well-attended Co-Production Breakfast was held for the first time in cooperation with the German regional film funding organizations Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, FFF Bayern and TIFF Industry. 

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The Special Presentation of TONI ERDMANN saw the Ryerson Cinema full to capacity with 1,200 spectators on the first day of the festival. International programmer Jane Schoettle welcomed director Maren Ade and producer Janine Jackowski for the second time to TIFF, some 12 years after their international premiere of THE FOREST FOR THE TREES. As in Cannes, there was spontaneous applause during the film and enthusiastic reactions after the screening.

Werner Herzog was in fine form when he came to the North American premiere of SALT AND FIRE (DE/US/FR, Construction Film) to present his actors Veronica Ferres, Michael Shannon, and Lawrence Krauss to around 1,500 spectators in the Elgin Theatre. The film had already been sold to Xlrator for the USA at the beginning of the festival and will be released in US cinemas in early 2017.

MARIE CURIE - THE COURAGE OF KNOWLEDGE by Marie Noëlle (DE/PL/FR, P'Artisan Filmproduktion), about five fateful years in the life of the brilliant scientist, celebrated its world premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema section. Director Marie Noëlle, lead actress Karolina Gruszka and co-author Andrea Stoll came to Toronto for the premiere.

Michael Koch was also at his second major international festival following on from Locarno with his first feature film MARIJA (DE/CH, Pandora Film Produktion, Little Shark Entertainment). The audience was particularly enthusiastic about the authentic acting ensemble and wanted to hear as much as possible about the background to the story of a young Ukrainian woman who is a cleaner in a hotel in Dortmund, but dreams of having her own hairdressing salon.

"Wavelengths will expand your brain", the TIFF writes on its festival website, since the section, which is named after Michael Snow's 1967 film, is dedicated to avant-garde, experimental cinema. This year, programmer Andréa Picard found three German feature film productions – THE DREAMED PATH by Angela Schanelec (Filmgalerie 451), AUSTERLITZ by Sergei Loznitsa (Imperativ Film), and I HAD NOWHERE TO GO by Douglas Gordon (Moneypenny Filmproduktion, olddognewtricks) – and the short WHAT’S NEW by Nina Könnemann matching this description, and the attending filmmakers found well-attended screenings and a very interested audience in the following Q&As.

There was a large presence of documentaries from Germany in the TIFF Docs. MALI BLUES by Lutz Gregor (gebrueder beetz filmproduktion), GAZA SURF CLUB by Philip Gnadt and Mickey Yamine (Little Bridge Pictures) and KARL MARX CITY by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker (US/DE) received invitations from other festivals and generated interest among international buyers.

The reception organized by German Films was well attended with 200 guests. German filmmakers and industry representatives met with festival delegates from Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno, Tribeca, Toronto, Miami, Copenhagen, Guadalajara and from AFI Los Angeles, South by Southwest, Hot Docs Toronto, Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal and the Berlinale as well as many international distributors.

The first edition of the Co-Production Breakfast, which was organized by German Films in collaboration with Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, FFF Bayern and TIFF Industry, was very well received with a total of 50 participants, including 30 from the USA and Canada.

FIPRESCI Prize for German co-production…

All German films and co-productions at Toronto 2016…


Director François Ozon was not the only one taken by his lead actress in FRANTZ (FR/DE, X Filme Creative Pool). The critics and industry also feted Paula Beer at the Venice International Film Festival for her performance as a young woman mourning the loss of her fiancé after the First World War, who then meets a French soldier. The jury – which included Nina Hoss – awarded her the Marcello Mastroianni Prize for the Best Young Actress in the Competition. The prize has previously gone to such leading actors as Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis or Gael Garcia Bernal. 

Wim Wenders' THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ is based on a theater play and has the author of the play – portrayed by the German actor Jens Harzer – appear as a kind of narrator. The Italian audience liked this and there was lots of applause at the world premiere held in the presence of the director and the actors Sophie Semin, Reda Kateb and Jens Harzer. The Italian distributor used the opportunity for interviews ahead of the theatrical release as well as a networking dinner.

Over 1,000 spectators were at the Darsena Cinema and applauded Ronny Trocker's debut film THE EREMITES (DE/IT, zischlermann filmproduktion) and the crew led by the German producers Paul Zischler and Susanne Mann. The Hollywood Reporter also praised the story set in South Tyrol.

In total, seven German films and co-productions received awards at the festival apart from Paula Beer. All of the awards…

All of the German films and co-productions in Venice…


It was a successful ceremony for German short films at the 43rd Student Academy Awards® in Los Angeles on 22 September 2016: the Foreign Narrative category saw INVENTION OF TRUST by Alex Schaad (University of Television and Film Munich) picking up the Gold medal and WHERE THE WOODS END (AM ENDE DER WALD) by Felix Ahrens (Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF) taking home Silver. AYNY by Ahmad Saleh (Academy of Media Arts Cologne) received the Gold medal in the Foreign Animation category, as previously announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the end of August. So, three awards went to German shorts as they had done a year ago.

The 30-minute fiction film INVENTION OF TRUST by Alex Schaad was made at the University of Television and Film in Munich. WHERE THE WOODS END, which also has a running time of 30 minutes, is a production of the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF where director Felix Ahrens has been studying Film Direction since 2012. Both films celebrated their world premieres at the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival in Saarbrücken at the beginning of the year where INVENTION OF TRUST won the prize for the Best Medium-Length Film.
The teacher Michael Gewa is being blackmailed in INVENTION OF TRUST by the dubious internet company b.good who threatens to make his private internet data public, and he subsequently fights for his reputation and the trust placed in him by his colleagues, friends and pupils.

WHERE THE WOODS END centers on Elke, a young  German police officer on a routine patrol close to the Czech border, who shoots a young Czech man in the heat of the moment during a routine stop and search operation. As a result, Elke gets suspended while the police begin their internal investigations, and she sinks into a deep sense of guilt. When her emotions become unbearable, Elke makes her way to the Czech Republic to find the family of the man she has killed.

The 11-minute animation AYNY by Ahmad Saleh, a graduate of the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, is about two eight-year-old boys who move to a new town to fulfil their dream of playing music. They fall in love with a wonderful musical instrument and try everything they can to earn enough money to be able to buy it. This brings them so close to one another that they have to become one in order to survive this test.

The Student Academy Awards®, also known as Student Oscars, are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They are among the most prestigious awards in the field of student films. In 2016, the awards for the best foreign film school productions were given for the first time in three categories. The three best fiction films received Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals in the Foreign Narrative category, while a Student Oscar Gold Medal was presented to one film in each of the Foreign Animation and Foreign Documentary categories.

All of the prize-winners at the 43rd Student Academy Awards®...

German films are traditionally very successful at the Student Oscars. Last year saw all three prizes in the Best Foreign Film category going to German filmmakers: Ilker Çatak won Gold with FIDELITY (Hamburg Media School), Dustin Loose received Silver for THE LAST WILL (Baden-Württemberg Film Academy) and and the Student Oscar in Bronze went to Patrick Vollrath for EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY (Vienna Film Academy).


Just by looking at the numbers, one can see that the Festival of German Films in Buenos Aires (15–21 September 2016) was a complete success: over 6,000 spectators, 12 sold-out screenings, a 30% increase in admissions at the second festival cinema Village Caballito (a new addition in 2015), and around 70 members of the press at the press conference with Wolfgang Becker, the director of the opening film ME AND KAMINSKI (X Filme Creative Pool, ED Productions).

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But numbers aside, there were some remarkable moments for German filmmaking worth reporting from the Argentinian capital. Wolfgang Becker has a veritable fan base in the Argentinian capital thanks to his big success with GOOD BYE, LENIN!, many people asked for autographs or photos and one member of the audience said that the film had then motivated her to learn German. And there were standing ovations from the audeince after the silent film DESTINY by Fritz Lang with musical accompaniment by the Cue Trío.

24 WEEKS by Anne Zohra Berrached was ahead of the rest in the voting for the Audience Award, followed by FUKUSHIMA, MON AMOUR by Doris Dörrie and THE CULPABLE by Gerd Schneider, which shows that Argentinian audiences also don't shy away from controversial subjects.

All of the films at the 2016 edition of the Festival of German Films in Buenos Aires… 


THE BLOOM OF YESTERDAY in Competition in Tokyo. More...

World Premiere in Busan for HEART OF STONE. More...

Laugh Gala for TONI ERDMANN in London. More...

WILD at the online ArteKino Festival. More...

German Films in Montreal, Gent, Haifa, Warsaw, Chicago, Reykjavik, Helsinki, Zurich, Telluride and the Hamptons.

German shorts in Santiago de Compostela and Bristol.


KU'DAMM 56 Best European Fictional Production at Festival de la Fiction TV in La Rochelle More...

LIEBMANN and two German co-productions nominated for the EUROPEAN DISCOVERY – Prix FIPRESCI at the European Film Awards. More...

International Emmys: DEUTSCHLAND 83NAKED AMONG WOLVESWAR OF LIES, as well as German actors Christiane Paul and Florian Stetter nominated. More...

Awards for German films in Ottawa, San SebastianMontreal and Haugesund.


Looking for information about the performance of German films around the world? Check out our market studies for an in-depth look at how German films have fared in a 28 international territories and find out some interesting facts and figures about the theatrical, television, DVD and VOD markets in the territories surveyed. More...


International theatrical releases of German films in October 2016 supported by the German Films Distribution Support Program:

6 October 2016:
BELOVED SISTERS (DIE GELIEBTEN SCHWESTERN) in Portugal (Distributor: Legendmain Filmes, World Sales: Global Screen)
HIGHWAY TO HELLAS in South Korea (Distributor: Apex Entertainment, World Sales: ARRI Media International)

13 October 2016:
COLONIA in Macedonia (Distributor: Di & Ma Vision, World Sales: Beta Cinema)
COLONIA in Montenegro (Distributor: Di & Ma Vision, World Sales: Beta Cinema)
COLONIA in Serbia (Distributor: Di & Ma Vision, World Sales: Beta Cinema)
OUR LAST TANGO (EIN LETZTER TANGO) in Hungary (Distributor: Vertigo Media, World Sales: Wide House)

14 October 2016:
ALL OF A SUDDEN (AUF EINMAL) in Turkey (Distributor: Yeni Bir Film, World Sales: Memento Films International)
FIDDLESTICKS (QUATSCH UND DIE NASENBÄRENBANDE) in South Korea (Distributor: Mano Entertainment, World Sales: Veit Helmer Filmproduktion)

20 October 2016:
JONATHAN in Macedonia (Distributor: KT Film & Media, World Sales: M-Appeal)
TRENK, THE LITTLE KNIGHT (RITTER TRENK) in Bosnia and  Herzegovina (Distributor: UNA Film, World Sales: Global Screen)

21 October 2016:
TONI ERDMANN in Romania (Distributor: Micro Film, World Sales: The Match Factory)


STEFAN ZWEIG - FAREWELL TO EUROPE by Maria Schrader (DE/AT, X Filme Creative Pool) has been seen by over 100,000 cinema-goers in France so far.

The Spanish-language remake of German box office hit FACK JU GOEHTE by Bora Dagtekin is highly successful in Mexican cinemas. It posted over 3 million euros so far which meant the top position of the box office charts. The remake with the title NO MANCHES FRIDA has posted 9.4 million USD in 19 days in the US before.